Monday, February 28, 2011

Santosha, a Birthday Wish

Don't worry everyone; I have not forgotten my promise!  The post about doing a proper Warrior pose and my favorite Warrior Series is still on its way.  But as with most things in my life, I have to do things in a sort of roundabout way.  My instinctual tendency to be well-rounded means I have a hard time focusing on one thing for too long.  This doesn’t mean that I can’t focus, but rather there is a distinct amount of time dedicated to one type of action before I feel like I need to move on.  I inevitably come back to it and finish it. Maybe the rationale is that I have given myself a moment to think something over before I get too far in that I can’t see my way out.  Or I’ve simply become distracted.

But, I clearly digress.  Today is my birthday.

Even though I am now the semi-unexciting age of twenty four, I am really optimistic about the year ahead.  Ever since that math game we played as kids, I have been in a love affair with the number 24 and all things that come with it.  There are just so many mathematical ways to reach twenty four and (in a sort of metaphorical way) there are so many ways I could have arrived here today.  For me birthdays are about love and acknowledgement of all that has made me who I am today.  This includes events, decisions, and most importantly, the people that have helped me get here.  Birthdays seem to call loved ones out of the woodwork; they come quietly out of nowhere to wish you a happy birthday.  It’s about love in its purest form, wishing someone else well and telling them how thankful you are that they are here.

With that said, I feel strange with the amount of attention birthdays carry.  I always just want to tell everyone how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them, rather than the other way around.  It was a bit ironic this morning when I opened my book The Essential Yoga Sutra by Geshe Michael Roach, to the following sutra:

Santashad anuttamah sukha labbah
Kayendriya siddhir ashuddhi
Kshayat tapasah.

Roach translates it into English to mean, If you stay contented, then you achieve happiness that is unsurpassed.  Embracing spiritual hardships destroys your impurities, allowing you to master both body and senses.

There are a lot of deep ways to interpret this and I am sure each of you will get something different out of these words.  Maybe this passage stirs nothing inside of you and that’s okay.  The truth is that these are just words and we attach a meaning to them.  Sometimes I read something 5 times and each time it has a different meaning.  This morning on this particular day, these words are a gentle reminder to be content and to be happy with all 24 years of my life.  I must embrace the hardships, the disappointments, and the confusions that may exist in my mind and simply allow myself to be content.

And you know what? I am.  I really am enjoying life and have little to complain about.  I have a wonderful family, a loving boyfriend, phenomenal friends, and I really enjoy what I do.  So it truly is a happy birthday to me. 

How do you remind yourself to be content?

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